stuffy noses - Humidifiers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please help me understand which kind is the best and why!
I have some stuffy noses in my household and would like to try using a humidifier, but keep getting confused trying to read-up on which kind I am supposed to use.

My boys are 28 months and have not been sleeping well... in the cool weather season we run either our small ceramic space heater in the bedroom, our central heat pump, or a wood stove... all of which dries us all out. I wake up with a sore throat, dry eyes, etc and the boys are having those issues too I'm sure. Now there are some stuffy noses and slight coughs going around.

Besides which kind, are there other "tricks" that you use to help even more: i.e. cleaning agents, how often change out water and clean, other oils you put in for more de-stuffing, etc

thanks!

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#2 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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We just use a cheapy from Walgreens that's worked fine for a couple of years.

When you fire up the wood stove, did you know to put a cast iron kettle/pot of some sort filled with water on top of the stove? That will add back some humidity.

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#3 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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When I had a humidifier it got moldy pretty quickly. A vaporizer did a great job and no mold problem.
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#4 of 12 Old 01-18-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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Add a few drops of peppermint EO to the water for nasal issues. Add eucalyptus for chest issues.

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#5 of 12 Old 01-18-2008, 12:23 PM
 
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I agree with pp. Humidifiers are known to be a prime spot for all kinds of funky stuff to grow. I read something that recommended hot steam vaporizors, and that is what we use now.

We have baseboard heat, and it really seems to dry the air out in our home. I notice, on the nights I forget to fill the vaporizor in our bedroom, I really feel like crapola the next morning (and ds wakes during the night asking for juice).

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#6 of 12 Old 01-18-2008, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the responses so far!

so, with vaporizors, do you not have to wash it out very often?
and can you add things into it too? like peppermint or eucalyptus?

thanks again!
(now my one ds woke up in the middle of the night with a croup-like sounding cough...)

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#7 of 12 Old 01-18-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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Maybe our vaporizer is too cheap, but it really doesn't put any water into the air (I never have to refill it (though I do replace the water for sanitary reasons). It does work good to put the vaposteam into the air when the kids are sick though. But as a humidifier is useless.

We do run a humidifier also for stuffy/crusty noses and DS1 is prone to eczema if his skin gets too dry. We have bought many and it seems that no matter if I buy an expensive one ($80 or so) or a cheapy for $30 they only last one winter and then don't work properly anymore. So now I just buy cheapies. As for hot or cool mist that is a tough call. The cool mist make the room it is in REALLY cold IMO and the warm make them stuffy if the door is closed while it runs. You are supposed to do cool for young kids to decrease risk of burns....but we have a hot mist because of the cold room issue. DS1 has put his hand on the steam and it really isn't that hot (he actually thinks it is fun so obviously doesn't hurt him). So, I run the hot mist during the day with the door open to humidify the upstairs. Then about an hour before bed I close the door to super humidify the room for the night and turn it off at bedtime for the night.
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#8 of 12 Old 01-18-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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we have a steam vaporizor, I rinse it out daily and soak it in vinegar weekly, I'm okay using bleach in limited amounts and use a half tsp of bleach in in about twice a month, let it soak, then rinse it out. we use this one at night, everynight.

we recently bought a cool mist humidifier, it is one that doesn't have a filter and it came with one of those balls that are susposed to keep the water from getting moldy, I change out the water daily, and do the vinegar soak once a week on it, bleach about twice a month, I use it during the day when I'm at home on high mostly and at night on low, I fill it sometime during the day. The package says that the little bal thingy should be changed every 30 days, I've had that one since around Thanksgiving but haven't bought a new cartrige, haven't decided yet if I will or not....

the steam (warm) vaporizor has a spot that you can add the stuff they sell, the steam blows over it and puts it in th air, it has a lavender and eucalyptus in it but I dislike the smell so I started putting a drop or two of eucalyptus eo directly in the water, so far I haven't messed it up, have been doing that since right before christmas off and on.

the cool mist one has a spot for the little pads to heat and release smell, I haven't ever done that.

we heat with a wood stove and I always keep a big pan of water on it that I use for washing dishes and baths so it gets refilled at least a couple times a day, then I have a small pan there that I use for orage peels, apple peels and eo's when I feel like it, that one sometimes the water will sit and be added to for a couple days, I'm sure to dump everything out and clean it once a week, just by washing it with normal dishes.

Our son has skin issues and it really helps!

why do I use both a cool and warm one? because one isn't big enough to keep the whole house moist enough so when I bought the 2nd one I went cool because I thought it wouldn't hurt and the warm once heats the water so the water is hot in the basin and with the cool one, if it would get knocked over I'd have a mess but not a scalded child.

I was told by one dr, ER, not to use the humidifiers or vaporizors, that they grew and spead mold/bacteria (forget the exact whatever) but our primary says that's it's okay as long as we keep them clean. I know that for his skin we have to do something or else he will turn into a bloody mess so I'm okay with the maintence. They do help with the congestion.

for croupy cough, if you have a shower and hot water, turn it on, shut the door and let it get steamy in there whil you guys hang out in there.
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#9 of 12 Old 01-18-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerdylan View Post
Maybe our vaporizer is too cheap, but it really doesn't put any water into the air (I never have to refill it (though I do replace the water for sanitary reasons). It does work good to put the vaposteam into the air when the kids are sick though. But as a humidifier is useless.
have you tried putting a pich of salt in the water? will make it steam better, only add a tiny amount and see what happens then a little more and a little more if you need to, I've gotten the amount figured out for our water here, be careful though because if you add to much it will really start heating up and sputtering big drops of water.
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#10 of 12 Old 01-18-2008, 03:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightheart View Post
have you tried putting a pich of salt in the water? will make it steam better, only add a tiny amount and see what happens then a little more and a little more if you need to, I've gotten the amount figured out for our water here, be careful though because if you add to much it will really start heating up and sputtering big drops of water.
Came to suggest that, too, but also because the salt has a wonderful effect on opening nasal passages and is very therapeutic. I also add lavender EO to the water.

I had a vaporizer I got from Freecycle that just conked out, but ds' godmother has the Vicks vaporizer thing that was great-and inexpensive!

Yes-you should empty it out after use so you don't have issues with the machine and/or mold. If you do that, you shouldn't have to wash it outright unless you are using oils.
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#11 of 12 Old 01-18-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightheart View Post
have you tried putting a pich of salt in the water? will make it steam better, only add a tiny amount and see what happens then a little more and a little more if you need to, I've gotten the amount figured out for our water here, be careful though because if you add to much it will really start heating up and sputtering big drops of water.
Hey thanks!! I was considering buying another humidifier for DS2 room, but will try this instead.
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#12 of 12 Old 01-18-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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[QUOTE=AEZMama;10320524]

I had a vaporizer I got from Freecycle that just conked out, but ds' godmother has the Vicks vaporizer thing that was great-and inexpensive!

QUOTE]
Ours is the Vicks vaporizer. It worked properly for a the first few illnesses and now just steams the vaposteam, but doesn't work as a humidifier anymore. I will try the salt.
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